Online teaching from teachers’ perspective
2020 was an interesting year, full of changes and challenges but we made it. Transitioning to online classes back in March was a big change for both the teachers and the students at IH. We have received largely positive feedback from our students regarding this transition, and most of it is owed to our wonderful hardworking and dedicated teachers who had to adapt quickly their lesson plans and material for a very different teaching style. We are dedicating this blog post to them as a way to say thank you and to share their views and opinions on the online class delivery.
Although in-person classes are of preference for many teachers and students, IH Vancouver Modern Languages is grateful for the opportunity of delivering online lessons which for sure have some perks and advantages a traditional classroom doesn’t have.
Our German teacher Nadine pointed out some of them: “While I do prefer in-person classes, we’re making online teaching work and still making learning a new language a fun experience! For example the breakout rooms (one of Zoom’s features that allow the teacher to split students in separate groups/sessions) are great for working in pairs/groups. Online classes also have advantages: students outside the Vancouver area can now participate in the language classes offered by International House Vancouver (one of my students moved to Toronto and continues to attend the classes!) and the zero commute to the school is pretty great – especially now in the winter months when it’s dark & miserable outside!”
Not needing to commute to school might be one of the perks of online classes, but it’s not the only one.
“Personally speaking, becoming an online educator has been hugely rewarding. It’s offered me increased flexibility of both my time and location, as I no longer need to commute to work. But more importantly, since teaching online, I have benefited from the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world, gaining knowledge and experience of students backgrounds and cultures vastly different from my own.” says Sandra, a Spanish teacher who has recently joined our team.
Our Spanish teacher Carolina encourages the students to try the online classes and see for themselves if this is something they would enjoy: “Online teaching and learning is challenging but it’s a very convenient way nowadays. So, I think it’s important to focus on the good points and take advantage of them. There are many great online tools and materials that can be used in classes and that students like and enjoy. It’s true that interaction between students and teachers is more direct and easier with in-person classes but it‘s still possible to establish a balanced communication and keep interactive classes online. If you have doubts, you can try and decide.”
Since the school moved to online classes, the social aspect and direct personal communication between the teachers, students and the administrative staff has been significantly reduced, unfortunately, but the communication and support keeps flowing through the available online channels.
Here is our Mandarin teacher Jessica’s take on it: “My strongest feeling is that although the disease isolates us physically, I can still feel how our staff, colleagues, and students are supporting me. I wasn’t at work for a long time, came back to face this kind of issue. Without support from all you guys, I couldn’t adjust to this new situation so fast.”
A big Thank you to all of our teachers, you are the best!